Aside from that first cry, there is no sweeter sound than when you hear your twins’ heartbeats for the first time. Whether you found out it was twins right away, or an ultrasound showed you later in your pregnancy, you’ll be eager to hear those two heartbeats thump-thumping together. You might be wondering when and how this happens, and if having twins will change your experience. We’ve got you covered with all you need to know about this important milestone of twin pregnancy.
How early can twins’ heartbeats be detected?
A baby’s cardiac muscles begin to develop between weeks 3 and 5 of pregnancy. As the heart chamber develops, a flickering beat can be seen by transvaginal ultrasound as early as 3 to 4 weeks gestation, and a regular ultrasound between weeks 6 and 8. Finally, around week 10 the babies’ heartbeats are usually strong enough to hear with a fetal Doppler or ultrasound. Around week 20, the heartbeats can be heard through a stethoscope.
That said, sometimes you have to wait a bit longer to hear one or both of your twins’ heartbeats. For example, a tilted uterus, an anterior (front-facing) placenta, or extra weight around your abdomen can make it harder to hear the heartbeat early on as there are barriers between the Doppler and the womb. Sometimes, the babies play hide and seek or their positioning is too far from the Doppler. Don’t freak out if you don’t hear that sweet sound at 10 weeks. As your babies grow, you will eventually get a listen, likely around 12 weeks of pregnancy.